Here is a selection of photos to show a little about what our life is like in Thailand. We tend to get into a routine and do the same things on a regular basis. Our life is simple, but very enjoyable. There isn’t a day that goes by that we aren’t grateful for the opportunities we have. We live in amazing times.
Visa Run to Myanmar
Every digital nomad knows this story well. After two or three months you have to travel to another country to renew visas for another short stay. Fortunately, visa runs are well established in Thailand and there are tours specifically for getting a new stamp in your passport. A day trip to Myanmar from Chiang Mai costs less than $20 with lunch and some sight-seeing included. Now we are good for another two months in Thailand.
Great Thai Food
One of our favourite restaurants in Chiang Mai is Imm Aim (formerly Pun Pun). We go there 4 or 5 times a week because the food and atmosphere are great. I love small family run restaurants and the open garden is so relaxing. Imm Aim is a must try for anyone visiting Chiang Mai.
Motoko doesn’t eat much meat, and I’m trying to eat less, so we prefer vegetarian restaurants like this. It’s nice to get higher quality vegetables and brown rice with dishes that are flavoured with natural herbs, not grease or salt. Also, it’s getting scarier to eat meat all around the world and the environmental footprint of beef, pork and chicken production is far too heavy for my liking. It’s better for the planet and my body to eat less meat.
Networking with Nomads
One of the best parts of being in Chiang Mai is all the travellers and digital nomads we meet. I generally try to arrange several coffee meetups with different people throughout the week. It’s great to be able to connect with like minded people. In Canada, I don’t feel like I have much connection with anyone anymore. Back home, everyone seems so pre-occupied with working and shopping to fill their over-sized houses with stuff they don’t really need. In a place like Thailand, it’s possible to have real relaxed conversations with people from all over the world. My people are in Chiang Mai.
Accommodations in Thailand
We had a great house sublet for the first two months in Chiang mai. It was a three-bedroom house with nice furniture and fast internet for about $300 per month. After that we moved to a tiny one-room studio in a better location for about $200 per month. I purposely wanted to go from one extreme to the other; a 6-room house with a garden to a 1-room studio with no kitchen or washing machine. It was a little hard to get used to at first, but now that we are settled in, it’s not that bad. We don’t need much to have a good life. Less stuff and less space simplifies everything so that more time and money can be spent on enjoyable and productive activities, like meeting with friends. Check out my comprehensive Chiang Mai apartment guide for my recommendations on where to stay.
A Simple Routine
Our lifestyle doesn’t really change much in different countries. We spend a lot of time behind a computer, exercising, going to cafes, meeting people, reading, playing guitar(me) and walking around in every country we live in. People often ask if we are homesick or we miss Japan or Canada. The answer is not really. Sure there are great things about different countries that we would like to experience again, and we will, but we don’t really feel like we are lacking anything in a new place. Our surroundings may change, but what we do with our free time is always very stable.
Getting back to Nature
I’m a city person. I love cafes, music, restaurants and the culture of interesting metropolises, but I’m starting to change. In Chiang Mai, we have been doing weekly hikes with my uncle, to a popular temple at the top of a mountain. It really is mentally and physically refreshing to get some fresh air, exercise and quiet time. I need to spend more time outdoors.
Teaching English Again
We volunteer to teach English at an orphanage once a week. I haven’t taught in a few years and thought I would never teach again, but I do enjoy teaching. These children have very little possessions and toys yet are very happy, polite and fun to be around. In developed countries, kids seem to have everything, but always seem to be whining for more. All kids should experience developing countries for a year or two.
I’ve been making resources and materials for teaching children for many years now. I’m in the process of reviving some old projects to help teach English literacy and conversation ability to disadvantaged children. If any of you are interested in a project like this, please contact me.
We eat a simple breakfast of oatmeal and fresh fruit in our room everyday, but we go out to a restaurant for every lunch and dinner. In Thailand the food is so amazing and inexpensive that we never get tired of going to restaurants. In Canada, the opposite is the case. Too often restaurant food is processed or pre-cooked so it is bland, despite the high prices. In Canada, we never want to go out because there are so few opportunities to eat healthy food with fresh ingredients. In Thailand, if you avoid the western food, you can eat a healthy, delicious meal in virtually every restaurant you go to. Also, the fresh coconut water and fruit shakes are amazing. Great Thai dishes can be typically found for between $2 and $3 per dish.
Life in Chiang Mai
Our life here really is amazing. When you find a great city like this it’s hard to go anywhere else. We are definitely going to see more of the world, but it’s going to be difficult to top Chiang Mai.